Philosophy Winter 2014

For more information on these courses, please contact the Philosophy department at (604)557-4035 or via email at Philosophy@ufv.ca.


Our legal and penal systems are often severly criticized. We can better understand these criticisms and the issues they raise if we can answer a number of philosophical questions about the nature of law, punishment, and responsibility. Why do we have laws? What is law: is it essentially a constraining force or is it a force for freedom? What is the relationship of the law to morality: should the law enforce morality? When is a person responsible for an act and thus legally liable for punishment? Why do we punish criminals: to deter crimes, to rehabilitate the criminal, or to "pay back" the criminal?

Prerequisite(s):
15 university-level credits

CRN:
10946

Symbolic logic is a formal reasoning system which has been influential in philosophy, computing, and mathematics. This course provides an overview of its most basic elements: propositional and predicate logic and their methods of proof. These elements are then critically analyzed to assess their strengths and weaknesses as a grounding for analytic philosophy and for rationality in general.

Prerequisite(s):
45 university-level credits

CRN:
10948

Sometimes our ethics are about how we act individually; for example, whether to make a charitable donation for cancer research. Sometimes, our ethics are about our political practices; for example, whether to make charitable donations tax deductible. What role should ethics play in our social and political practices? Should our ethics - what we think is right - take into account the realities of politics, of how we collectively make decisions?

Prerequisite(s):
45 credits in Applied or Arts or Science programs, including 9 credits in Philosophy or Political Science; or instructor's permission.

CRN:
10949

The concept of a child occupies a precarious position and has not always received the attention that it deserves. Not yet a fully rational agent, but endowed with the potential to become one, the child's status spells trouble for core philosophical concepts. Theories of rationality, freedom, personal identity, and responsibility all impact children and their caregivers, yet often ignore them. Delving into philosophical theory and the practical issues of childhood, this course is of great importance not just to philosophers but to anyone who works with children, has children, or was once a child.

Prerequisite(s):
45 credits from Applied or Arts or Science programs

CRN:
10950

Phenomenology, as a philosophical term, denotes a 20th century intellectual movement and a method that emerges from that movement. This course is designed to guide students through this movement as a means for grasping the implications of its method. The primary focus will be on major thinkers in early 20th century phenomenology, especially those associated with existential phenomenology. Philosophers to be covered are Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Prerequisite(s):
45 credits from Arts, Sciences or Applied programs, including one of PHIL 120, 220, 250, 251 or 252.

CRN:
11496

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